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Saturday, 6 September 2014

Morning Walk At Venus Drive (06 Sep 2014)

I didn't intend to go to Venus Drive for a morning shoot as the plan was to do a night macro session the night before. The night shoot was a washed-out as the location that I went was totally messed up with the new construction of a major road. At the end of the short session as most places were off limit due to the construction, I was only able to find 5 commonly encountered Chafer and Darkling beetles.

After the dismal results of the night before, I decided to go to Venus Drive to do some macro photography. When I was there, a troop of Long-tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis) was foraging around the place that I usually do macro photography. Notwithstanding the presence of the macaques, I proceeded to do what I am there for. Incidentally, I found out that it is the monkeys and not the wild boars that are causing the destruction of the rotting logs as I saw them systematically tearing apart the soft part of the rotting logs to look for food.

The first beetle was a Leaf Beetle (Lema cyanella) that seemed to be in abundance at the grassy mound that I usually find Leaf Beetles.

The weather was seemingly warmer than usual, and I noticed that the Leaf Beetles were exceptionally active and skittish. It took me a while before I am able to get close enough to photograph this Leaf Beetle (Lema diversa).

Moving away from the grassy mound after several failed attempts to photograph the orange color Leaf Beetle (Lema rufotestacea), I found this tiny 2 mm skittish Ladybird Beetle (Cryptogonus orbiculus) on a low tree. It was moving constantly and was a challenge to photograph it, especially in the strong wind.

Near to the Ladybird Beetle was a tiny 3 mm first-time-encountered Jewel Beetle drinking water from a wet part of a leaf.

Moving into a shaded area, I found a lovely metallic blue colored Leaf Beetle resting on a leaf.

At some huge Elephant Ear plants, I was thrilled to find this colorful first-time-encountered Checkered Beetle. I have previously seen photographs of this beetle on the internet but I am not sure if it can be found in Singapore, so this encounter confirmed it.

Near to the Checkered Beetle on the same leaf was a Ant-like Flower Beetle (Anthelephila cyanea).

On the underside of a leaf nearby was a favorite white colored Ladybird Beetle.

Under a leaf of a nearby low tree was another tiny Ladybird Beetle (Cryptolaemus montrouzieri).

On the same low tree were several of this colorful fly. I have always wondered what do these fly eat and only until today that I realized that it is an insect eater. Here it was seen eating a Ladybird Beetle (Cryptogonus orbiculus).

Moving into the Venus Drive track, a small 3 mm Weevil Beetle was seen hiding under a leaf.

Moving to the "clearing", a Ladybird Beetle (Henosepilachna implicata) landed right in front of me while I was looking out for beetles.

Near to a fallen log at the clearing was a Fungus Weevil. Fungus Weevil are usually very sensitive to movements and would fly off at the slightest of movements, but this particular one was not as sensitive and allowed me to photograph it to my heart's contend.

On the same log were some of this black and white beetle larvae.

Near to the beetle larvae was this lone Fungus Beetle.

Moving away from the "clearing", a small Fungus Weevil was seen on a leaf near a pile of chopped tree trunks.

On one of the chopped tree trunk was this Tiger Beetle (Cicindela chrysippe) that kept running up and down the length of the tree trunk.

On another pile of chopped trees was this large Jewel Beetle (Belionota prasina).

I was glad to be able to find the large Jewel Beetle as it was quite uncommon to find this beetle. Little did I know that at the later part of the walk, I came across 6 of them at a single spot. They were chasing after each other and would occasionally fly away and later landing back in the same place. Here's a photograph of 4 of them, the other 2 took off when I snapped this photograph.

Coming to a small patch of ferns, a Tumbling Flower Beetle (Glipa malaccana) was found resting on it.

Just like the Jewel Beetle earlier, I was pleasantly surprised later to find a large fern leaf full of the Tumbling Flower Beetles (Glipa malaccana). How many can you see on the leaf?

I counted 10 Tumbling Flower Beetles in the photograph. The number should be larger as I accidentally disturbed it before I took the photograph. It is interesting to find such a big group on one plant.

The next beetle was a little strange. It was a Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus quadriguttatus quadriguttatus) and strangely, it was walking on the pathway which is pretty unlikely for Fungus Beetle to do so.

Hiding under a log was a Fungus Beetle (Episcapha quadrimacula). It remained motionless for me to photograph it.

Moving to the place where I found the interesting beetle with super long antennae, I found a female beetle on a log. From its posture, it looked as if it was laying eggs.

Next to the long antennae beetle were several Fungus Weevils.

On a nearby tree was a first-time-encountered Fungus Weevil. It was motionless and didn't move at all despite my camera flashes.

On the same log was another Fungus Weevil.

While photographing the Fungus Weevil, a Long Horned Beetle (Sclethrus amoenus) landed right in front of me. I only managed to take 3 shots and it flew off as fast as it appeared.

Crawling slowly on the same log as the Fungus Weevils, was a Fungus Beetle.

On another tree nearby was a 3 mm first-time-encountered Fungus Weevil. This beetle is completely black, without any markings or patterns.

At this point, the sky started to rumble and threaten to rain. So I decided to stop and turn back. Just then a rarely encountered Fungus Weevil was found on a side of a tree. It was pretty alert and flew off after a few photographs.

While walking briskly towards the exit, I was elated to find this first-time-encountered Leaf Rolling Beetle. I have been looking for this group of beetles for a while and only managed to find one previously. This surely was the highlight of the entire trip.

The last beetle for the trip was this brightly colored Fungus Beetle (Stenotarsus pardalis). In fact, just a stone's throw away was another of this beetle.

This was a fabulous trip and I am very happy to be able to find a few first-time-encountered beetles, especially the black-and-yellow Checkered Beetle and the Leaf Rolling Beetle. Wonderful!